We all grew up watching Bollywood movies and these movies made us fall in love with six-pack abs and a perfect body. There are many who actually are unaware of the difference between abs and core. The abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) are those which give a six-pack look whereas the core involves all of those abdominal muscles in addition to all of the muscles of the pelvic girdle and lower back.
When the entire core workout is done, it helps in stabilizing the spine, relieves back pain, and protects against future injuries. A strong core helps in keeping the torso in a stable position, whether you are moving or playing, or doing any chore. A strong core gives more strength to the limbs therefore will help you make better in sports.
There are a variety of exercises for a core workout. They are flexing and stretching the spine, extending the hips, and twisting the trunk. Plank variations and the exercises in which the spine is still and while the arms and legs are moving are ideal for a core workout.
Before starting, you should always know about the anatomy of your body and know which part of your body you are working on and what results it will give.
1. Upper abs
To target your upper abs, you need to do activities that include pulling your chest towards your pelvis. For this, try lying on your back with arms aside and lift your upper body, arms, and one leg at once making a V- shape.
2. Middle abs
Workout for middle abs is done by bringing your pelvis and ribcage closer. Lie down with legs stretched out and feet together and extend your arms above your head. Tilt your pelvis forward and maintain this position forming a straight line.
3. Lower abs
Lower abs are responsible to maintain the strength of the whole core. For making lower abs strong, lie on your back with heels near your hips. Lift your shoulders and reach down to touch your right heel with your left hand and left heel with your left hand.
There are a few tips that you should always keep in mind for your workout sessions and a healthy lifestyle.
- Always start with a light cardio warm up for about 10-15 minutes.
- Don’t try to pressurize your body too much. This does not happen in one day.
- Never neglect a healthy diet. You cannot reduce weight just from one part of the body, but overall fat is burned.
- Workout on your abs three times a week. You can always take a break in between the days.
- For better results, you need to do 12- 16 repetitions of each exercise.
- Choose different types of exercises. The goal is to focus on every body part.
Here are best 8 workouts for abs and core to start with
This is a basic workout for strengthening not only your core but your hips and thighs as well. It gives stability and balance to the body. For doing this, lay your arms on the floor with elbows straight under your shoulders.
Broaden your legs and lay your toes on the floor in such a position that your body should be in a straight line. Press your entire core, butt and legs and squeeze your glutes under a little to hold your lower back straight. Hold yourself in the same position for a few minutes.
2. Bicycle crunches
This helps in building oblique. This you can do while lying on the floor and keep your hands behind your head. Bring the knees toward your chest without pulling up your neck.
Lifting the shoulders, bring your right elbow towards your left knee while straightening the opposite leg and do the same procedure with the left elbow and right knee. Repeat this 12-16 times. You can take a break in between if you want.
3. Exercise ball crunch
Use of this tool helps in strengthening the core muscles because you have to adjust your balance continuously. Lie on the ball with your lower back and hands behind your head.
Contract your abs and lift your shoulders, crunching the abs towards your hips while keeping the ball stable. Do this for two sets of 16 reps.
4. Reverse crunch
In this, you are curling the hips off the floor and keeping the legs stable. Lie on the floor and keep your hands behind the head and left your knees towards your chest with a 90-degree angle.
Now contract your hips off the floor and hold for a few seconds avoiding the movement of legs. Do this for two sets of 16 reps.
5. Long Arm crunch
In this exercise, arms are extended so this is a bit of a difficult level of crunch. Lie on the mat and extend your arms straight behind your head. Now while exhaling, contract the abs and pull your shoulder up. Do not move your arms and be in this position for a few seconds. Do this for two sets of 16 reps.
6. Vertical leg crunch
This is a very effective exercise for abs. For this, lie on the floor and extend your legs up in the air and keep the knees in a cross manner.
Lift your shoulders off the floor and bring your chest towards your legs. Be stable in this position for a few seconds. The lower down and do for 16 reps.
7. Back extensions
This workout requires a little movement but gives bigger results. This is also a form of yoga. Lie on your stomach with arms on your sides. While inhaling, lift the upper portion of your body and legs at the same time. Be in this same position for a few seconds. Do this for two sets of 16 reps.
8. Butterfly sit up
As the name suggests you have to put your legs in the butterfly position. Lie down with the soles of your feet together and knees bent out to sides. Raise your hands above your head. Roll up your body using your core keeping your body upright. Move forward and touch your toes. Then return to the starting position and repeat this.
Abdominal and core exercises are strengthening workouts involving the abdominal and core muscles respectively. These are useful for building up abdominal and core muscles by providing a proper shape to the body. Such exercises are not only performed for building the outer physical shape but enhancing the overall strength of the body and physical endurance.